Chinese Survey Ships in Philippine Waters

Posted by George Backwell
Monday, August 18, 2014

Philippine President Benigno Aquino said two Chinese survey vessels had been sighted in a gas-rich area of its exclusive economic zone, raising concerns of heightened tensions in the disputed South China Sea.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, believed to be rich in deposits of oil and gas resources. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also claim the sea where $5 trillion of ship-borne goods pass every year.

"Recently, we got a report from the armed forces that there were two hydrographic ships in Recto Bank, about 80 nautical miles off Palawan, clearly within our exclusive economic zone," Aquino told a television interview aired on Sunday. Recto Bank is also known as Reed Bank.

"What are they doing there? What kind of studies are they conducting? I hope the presence of these ships will not lead to an increase tension between the two states."

Tensions in the South China Sea between the Philippines and China began in 2011 when Chinese patrol boats harassed a survey ship hired by Anglo-Filipino Forum Energy PLC which won a contact to explore the Reed Bank.

Aquino said two Chinese survey ships were now in the same area where Veritas Voyager, hired by the British-based energy company, was conducting research three years ago.

"The frequent passage of Chinese vessels in Recto Bank is not an innocent exercise of freedom of navigation but is actually done as part of a pattern of illegitimate sovereign patrol in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone," Charles Jose, foreign ministry spokesman, said in a statement on Monday.

"This conduct of sovereignty patrols by China is in violation of both UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), specifically paragaph 5."

In May, Aquino told Southeast Asian leaders that two Chinese ships were also sighted in Galoc, another oil field operating in western Palawan.

Aquino did not say when the military sighted the Chinese survey ships in the Reed Bank and if they were still in the area. The Philippine Navy said three Chinese coast guard vessels have been seen daily around Second Thomas Shoal, not far from Reed Bank.

Another two to three Chinese ships have been seen regularly on patrol around Scarborough Shoal, another part of the disputed South China Sea.

Last month, Forum Energy PLC obtained an approval from the Philippine government to extend by one year its drilling plan for a natural gas project in Reed Bank. The company is now expected to complete by August 2016 drilling for its appraisal wells to assess the size of gas or oil discoveries.

By Manuel Mogato
 

Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Thordon Bearings Names New China Distributor

Thordon Bearings Inc. of Canada announced that CY Engineering Co. Ltd. will take over as the new authorized distributor for the People’s Republic of China, including Macau and Hong Kong,

Eniram Expands Training Services, Onboard and Onshore

Eniram Ltd, a provider of energy management technology and analytic services to the shipping industry, today announced the addition of in-depth training services

ClassNK Verifies lino Marine Service GHG

Classification society ClassNK has carried out the independent third-party verification of Iino Marine Service’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory based on a reasonable level of assurance.

Legal

Migrant Boat Sinks off Libya; 200 Feared Dead

A boat packed with mainly African migrants bound for Italy sank off the Libyan coast on Thursday and officials said up to 200 might have died. A security official in the western town of Zuwara,

Wärtsilä Scrubbers for Finnlines Vessels

Finnlines, a Ro-Ro and passenger vessel operator with services in the North and Baltic Seas, has contracted Wärtsilä to supply three vessels with exhaust cleaning scrubber systems.

North Korean Black-listed Ships in Russia

North Korean vessels owned by Ocean Maritime Management (OMM) have been seen using Russian ports, says the NK News vessel tracker.   OMM was sanctioned for its

Vessels

ASL Shipyard Secures S$140mln Build Contracts

ASL Shipyard Pte Ltd. a wholly-owned subsidiary of ASL Marine Holdings Ltd., has secured new shipbuilding contracts worth approximately S$140 million for the construction

North Korean Black-listed Ships in Russia

North Korean vessels owned by Ocean Maritime Management (OMM) have been seen using Russian ports, says the NK News vessel tracker.   OMM was sanctioned for its

Sailboat Catches Fire off Honolulu

A sailboat with five people aboard caught fire off Honolulu, Thursday, promting responsefrom the U.S. Coast Guard who sent a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from

Government Update

Iranian Ship, Crew Escape Captivity off Somali Coast

An Iranian fishing vessel and its crew have escaped after being held captive for five months by Somali fishermen, maritime piracy experts said on Friday, but it

Migrant Boat Sinks off Libya; 200 Feared Dead

A boat packed with mainly African migrants bound for Italy sank off the Libyan coast on Thursday and officials said up to 200 might have died. A security official in the western town of Zuwara,

Oil Steadies as Equities Rally

Recovering stock markets boost oil prices; U.S. crude on track for first weekly gain in nine weeks. Oil prices steadied on Friday after bouncing back from six-and-a-half-year

Offshore Energy

Yamal LNG Arctic Project in Doldrums

The massive $27 billion Yamal LNG liquefied-natural-gas venture in the Arctic Circle, a centerpiece of President Vladimir Putin’s plan for Russia has been squeezed by U.

MHI, SBG Invest in Wind Energy Startup Altaeros Energies

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. ("MHI") and the Suhail Bahwan Group ("SBG") have invested in Altaeros Energies, a Massachusetts-based technology company, to

Ecopetrol, JX Nippon Team Up to Explore Brazil Offshore

Ecopetrol reports it has established an Alliance with Japan’s JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration through its affiliate in Brazil, Ecopetrol Óleo e Gás to explore the FZA-M-320 block,

 
 
Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 1.5808 sec (1 req/sec)